Hi everyone! 

I thought it might be useful to introduce myself and give a bit of background as to why Intuition Assisting exists and what the vision is for the company. 

I am Naomi Glover, director of the company. I have been nursing since 2008, as a qualified adult nurse. I found my way to theatre by chance, in a training placement at Ayr Hospital. I found it to be the most exciting place I had ever seen! I didn't realise nurses could be so involved in surgery. What a revelation! The rest is history. Helping to amputate a patients leg at the tender age of 19 certainly leaves its mark. 

Upon qualifying, I joined the team at the Southern General Hospital in Glasgow South (now known as the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital) and quickly worked my way through NCEPOD, elective general surgery, ophthalmology, urology, gynaecology, vascular and finally (drumroll please....) ORTHOPAEDICS! 

I had never seen anyone wearing what is affectionately known as a "space suit" and I knew then and there that I wanted to don one, and learn how to put together a knee replacement jig like my seniors. Not only that, but know what I was doing with it. The guidance I received there was second to none, from both consultants and my senior nursing colleagues. I am forever grateful to them. I still yearn for those halcyon days! We cared.

Orthopaedics was a deep dive for me. I wanted to learn everything I could about trauma and elective procedures. I was a quick learner and was soon becoming involved in complex trauma, revision surgery, spinal fixation and everything in between. Furiously taking notes as went along! I wanted to care for these patients in the best way that I could, which meant being as effective as possible in my role. 

I spread my wings even further when I decided to take the leap into agency work, taking contracts in Golden Jubilee, Edinburgh, Fife, Dundee, Aberdeen, Borders, Shetland and Isle of Man. A steep learning curve at times, meeting all sorts of practitioners and professionals along the way. Networking that I still appreciate and utilise today. 

I started to see a different aspect of nursing when I chanced upon the private sector in Glasgow. Specifically Nuffield Hospital in the West End. There, I was exposed to insured and self paying patients as opposed to the NHS. I responded well to having a closer relationship to the consultants, with the environment being less pressured because the patients are elective and medically well. 

It was here that I eventually made my way into surgical first assisting, the next logical progression in my career. This allows the scrub nurse to become slightly more involved in the procedure, under strict supervision of the operating consultant. It involves training in university, a post graduate certificate in surgical first assisting. A skilled scrub practitioner can learn how to assist in a surgical procedure, such as joint replacement or laparoscopic surgery. Another revelation! When you want to do the best for patients and are given another avenue to do so, it is so special to be in that trusted position. Such a privilege to be trusted by your consultant to deliver that enhanced level of care. 

Having still been involved in agency work I was often able to have foot in different camps in the ever changing theatre landscape. One particular camp I happened upon in Edinburgh was Mako robotic surgery. This would prove to be a defining position in my career. Glasgow Nuffield quickly adopted the Mako robotic joint replacement, seeing the vast patient benefits, and the consultants, particularly Mr Leach, quickly became expert in its application. I was fortunate to be able to follow in its wake, given my prior exposure, ensuring that I could calibrate the robot and quickly assess how to conduct myself as an assistant around the robot and giving advice to staff as appropriate. I pride myself on being able to shorten theatre session time by being involved in the setup and calibration process. This can save up to 30 minutes per case. 

A further result of my networking activities, I was in the fortunate position of being invited to Kings Park Hospital in Stirling to assist in a unique type of procedure, direct anterior approach hip replacement. This is a muscle sparing approach that has many benefits for the patient, particularly early mobilisation and discharge. It is exciting to be involved in a procedure that is not so widely adopted (in fact being one of the only UK consultants offering this approach) and I am honoured to be invited along for the journey with Mr Nicol. Young adult hip arthroscopy is another string to that bow. 

To the business, having assisted since 2018, it became quite apparent that the current system for organising assisting cover for cases was lacking. It was disjointed and time consuming. There were occasions where there was no cover available and patients sadly had to be postponed or cancelled. I felt that it would be beneficial to have one person co-ordinating the workload and allocating the work appropriately. That is where the idea for Intuition Assisting was born. 

I have had an invaluable amount of support and input from both consultant colleagues and practitioners. I want this business to be a success and the ultimate goal is to ensure that no case is cancelled. The protection of the patient is paramount. However, we need to be mindful that there are limitations in the system. 

There will be ongoing recruitment drives for not only practitioner assistants but also surgical trainees and fellows from the NHS. I will be gathering availability regularly and in advance. We have to appreciate that the agency type nature of this format may not work every time but that I will continually strive to find new practitioners. I will not rest. However, it is worth noting that certain limitations apply and please do get in touch for more information.